Commitment Impact: Matisse Thybulle

The Washington Huskies added another huge piece to its 2015 recruiting puzzle Monday with the commitment of Eastside Catholic wing Matisse Thybulle. His commitment marks him as the third local prospect to commit to the Huskies for next year, and fourth four-star talent overall in a class many regard as one of the top-5 recruiting classes in the country.

What is UW getting in Matisse Thybulle? - Thybulle is bouncy, athletic 6-foot-6 wing with big upside who started generating buzz during the 3A state tournament, where the Crusaders eventually fell to Rainier Beach in the state championship game. His explosive leaping ability immediately stood out. He has a reputation for throwing down rim-rattling tip-jams and transition acrobatics. He's got a slender but muscled frame with broad shoulders and long arms. His bounce and long reach help him get to a lot of rebounds where his instincts have steadily improved. Thybulle is already an accomplished, high level defender with lockdown potential long-term owing to good quickness, great length and an energetic motor.

Offensively Matisse is just now coming into his own, and he showed tremendous growth from the state tournament to the Las Vegas AAU tournaments at the end of July. While not an elite scorer, he's a rapidly improving penetrator, a good passer, with solid handle, and growing touch around the basket when he's not flushing it down. Thybulle matured considerably after taking on a primary scoring role with AAU team NWXpress. With fellow 2015 Husky commit Dejounte Murray playing in Jamaal Crawford's Pro-Am for much of the summer rather than his AAU squad, Thybulle made the most of his time in the spotlight. With the ball in his hands, he evolved into a more well rounded scorer, attacking the basket with confidence. He's a decent shooter, with range to out beyond the three point arc, but it's not a strength of his game. He also shoots a nice looking mid-range jumper.

Where does Thybulle Fit? - It isn't hard to see where Thybulle fits with the Huskies given the well worn path of Lorenzo Romar players of a similar ilk, like Bobby Jones and Justin Holiday. In terms of a position, he's a three or four (an interchangeable position with smaller lineups at Washington). Early in his career, he'll likely be used for his defensive capabilities, similar to how Holiday was used as a freshman, allowing his offensive capabilities time to mature.

Looking to 2015, Thybulle will be joining Rainier Beach stars Dejounte Murray and David Crisp as well as freakishly athletic Pleasant Grove, Calif. forward Marquese Chriss. The 2015 group has the potential to emerge as the best recruiting class the Huskies have landed since 2007, when the Huskies welcomed Isaiah Thomas, Justin Holiday, Mathew Bryan-Amaning, Darnell Gant and Venoy Overton. That group of players was the most collectively productive group during the Lorenzo Romar era.

In 2015, it's hard to forecast what the roster will look like, but there will certainly be plenty of minutes to earn. On the wing, Murray will join Darin Johnson and Quevyn Winters as the presumptive top candidates at the two and three positions, but there will also be playing time up for grabs in four-guard lineups. Thybulle should look no further than Justin Holiday's first season for the blueprint on how to impact the roster as a freshman. Husky fans will recall Holiday averaged 16 minutes a game during the 2008-09 season as a defensive specialist, and Thybulle offers several similarities.

What does Thybulle's commitment mean long-term? - Thybulle's commitment is a big one, with considerable long term pay-offs on multiple fronts. The Dawg Pack has always reserved its loudest affection for home-grown talent, and adding another top local prospect is a huge win for the program. But more importantly, he fits Washington's system like a glove, adding another shot of athleticism to a recruiting class that was already turbo-charged in that regard.

Congratulations to Matisse, his family and the local hoops community who, after enduring a painfully long dry spell, can now celebrate another local star staying home.


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